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28 notes &

WPA Poster Collection

Looking to lose a few hours? Check out the LoC’s collection of 1930s & 1940s posters by the Works Progress Administration. If you’re into history, graphic design, Deco, WWII, the Great Depression, propaganda, this is the jackpot. -Wendy

erinpack:

Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can look at every WPA poster.

Obsessed. 

Filed under wpa works progress administration graphic design 1930s great depression new deal wwii world war ii library of congress poster art propaganda

32 notes &

On this day in 1935, Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal’s largest and most ambitious agency. During its run, which ended in 1943 and cost about $11 billion, the WPA employed 8.5 million out-of-work people on 1.4 million individual projects; it built 651,000 miles of roads, streets, and highways; constructed or repaired 124,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings, more than 8,000 parks, and nearly 900 airport runways. The projects had to provide a real and lasting contribution, and could not take business away from private companies.
It wasn’t always the most efficient operation, however, and its critics gave it nicknames like “We Poke Along,” “We Play Around,” “We Piddle Around,” and “Working Piss Ants.” WPA employees were derided as “shovel-leaners,” an accusation John Steinbeck addressed in his essay “A Primer on the ’30s”: “It was the fixation of businessmen that the WPA did nothing but lean on shovels. I had an uncle who was particularly irritated at shovel-leaning. When he pooh-poohed my contention that shovel-leaning was necessary, I bet him five dollars, which I didn’t have, that he couldn’t shovel sand for fifteen timed minutes without stopping. He said a man should give a good day’s work and grabbed a shovel. At the end of three minutes his face was red, at six he was staggering and before eight minutes were up his wife stopped him to save him from apoplexy. And he never mentioned shovel-leaning again.”
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/05/06 (via tumblngphilopoet)

Filed under wpa works progress administration 1930s new deal fdr history

15 notes &

Roosevelt was born Jan. 30, 1882.
pastperfect-online:

Happy belated birthday, FDR! Yesterday marked the 32nd President’s 131st birthday. The four-term P.O.T.U.S. is best known for his New Deal plan during the Great Depression and his leadership during World War II. Despite losing the use of his legs at age 39 after a battle with Polio, Roosevelt is remembered for his sense of humor and optimism.  
This Roosevelt campaign poster from 1936 can be found in the online collection of the Kentucky Historical Society.
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Roosevelt was born Jan. 30, 1882.

pastperfect-online:

Happy belated birthday, FDR! Yesterday marked the 32nd President’s 131st birthday. The four-term P.O.T.U.S. is best known for his New Deal plan during the Great Depression and his leadership during World War II. Despite losing the use of his legs at age 39 after a battle with Polio, Roosevelt is remembered for his sense of humor and optimism.  

This Roosevelt campaign poster from 1936 can be found in the online collection of the Kentucky Historical Society.

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Filed under franklin delano roosevelt roosevelt fdr 1930s 1936 politics american politics american history new deal great depression world war ii wwii

19 notes &

Turning to some historical background, here’s a brief review of a book about someone who’s been obscured by history.
expectajayus:

Frances Perkins - The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kristen Downey
In the last few months I’ve started to dive into the world of Non-Fiction books as well as Fiction. Spanning about 500 pages, Downey tells the life of Perkins with a focus on her time spent in the White House as the first female cabinet member as the Secretary of Labor.
What I found amazing was the reeducation of history that I had forced upon me because my US History class in high school failed me. I had never heard of Perkins and had always attributed everything in the New Deal to FDR. In truth, he helped, but it was 90% due to the extensive number of hours Perkins put into her work. Everything from the 40-hour work week to the end of the child labor came out of that office during her tenure. 
The core of the text spans the beginning of the FDR Administration in the early 1930’s and continues through the start of WWII. This is not a book for people looking for action packed history. This is more of a political thriller for those intrigued by politics and the inner workings of Washington. 
FDR is historically given credit for getting America out of the Great Depression, but in truth many of his accomplishments came from the Department of Labor, from Frances Perkins.
12,500 page goal: 496/12,500

Turning to some historical background, here’s a brief review of a book about someone who’s been obscured by history.

expectajayus:

Frances Perkins - The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kristen Downey

In the last few months I’ve started to dive into the world of Non-Fiction books as well as Fiction. Spanning about 500 pages, Downey tells the life of Perkins with a focus on her time spent in the White House as the first female cabinet member as the Secretary of Labor.

What I found amazing was the reeducation of history that I had forced upon me because my US History class in high school failed me. I had never heard of Perkins and had always attributed everything in the New Deal to FDR. In truth, he helped, but it was 90% due to the extensive number of hours Perkins put into her work. Everything from the 40-hour work week to the end of the child labor came out of that office during her tenure. 

The core of the text spans the beginning of the FDR Administration in the early 1930’s and continues through the start of WWII. This is not a book for people looking for action packed history. This is more of a political thriller for those intrigued by politics and the inner workings of Washington. 

FDR is historically given credit for getting America out of the Great Depression, but in truth many of his accomplishments came from the Department of Labor, from Frances Perkins.

12,500 page goal: 496/12,500

(Source: adorablecanadiancupcake)

Filed under new deal 1930s great depression fdr roosevelt franklin delano roosevelt frances perkins

5 notes &

On This Day: 1st Public Housing Project in US

From WABE News here in Atlanta:

Today is November 29th, and if we were to turn Atlanta’s clock back 76 years to this date in 1935, we’d find President Franklin Roosevelt in town for the official dedication of Techwood Homes—the first public housing project in the United States. Here, WABE’s Steve Goss talks with Georgia State University historian Dr. Cliff Kuhn.

Click the link for a radio feature with background on public housing in America.

Techwood was not Deco but it was a major New Deal project in Atlanta and one of hundreds of projects in the U.S. As the decades ran on, the initial vision crumbled into one of despair and hopelessness, not only in Atlanta but nation-wide. Today only one building of Techwood Homes (now Centennial Place) remains; it’s an nice L-shaped 1930s brick apartment building with individual entrances for each unit. I used to walk by it every day on my way to work, which at the time was Georgia Tech.

- Wendy

Filed under public housing fdr franklin delano roosevelt new deal great depression 1930s 1935 techwood homes atlanta techwood drive centennial place history social history wabe cliff kuhn atlanta history american history architecture apartment

9 notes &

When the arts flourished in the old days it was sufficient for an artist to have a rich patron and then to develop under the protection of his important sponsor. All nobles had their pet artists… Today, for the most part, this method of developing and protecting art has passed out of existence and I am wondering if the WPA art projects may not take their places
Eleanor Roosevelt (in her column “My Day”)

(Source: antigenidas)

Filed under eleanor roosevelt art 1930s wpa works progress administration new deal public art

8 notes &

To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade. What may be necessary for those countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat, Sept. 30, 1934 (via paracletelux)

(Source: mhric.org, via followingyourbliss)

Filed under FDR New Deal franklin delano roosevelt roosevelt 1930s great depression fireside chat public works infrastructure history american history

12 notes &

The Brian's Den: We Need a New, New Deal

Reblogging this not just for the great vintage FDR election poster but for the information on the sad state of the nation’s bridges.

Example: Here in Atlanta a number of bridges have been replaced in recent years, but only because they were a about to crumble to the ground. Seriously, a couple blocks from me there was a section of viaduct that had holes in it big enough you could see the parking lot below. Many bridges have build dates on them and I see many of them that are 1920s or 1930s. They are concrete and stressed out handling traffic and weights they were never built for. They certainly weren’t intended to be used for nearly 100 years! But anyway, click the link to read this in full.

bmlevin:

I spent the day at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. Faced with a catastrophic economy and rampant unemployment, Roosevelt put Americans to work revitalizing infrastructure and creating cultural and artistic capital. Yes, there were the…

Filed under Bridges FDR Jobs New Deal infrastructure transportion 1930s nyc new york city engineering

60 notes &

Federal Art Projectvia smallequals
After that last post, I wanted to share more information on the federal art and information projects of the 1930s. The post below is good. To view posters, visit the LoC site.
smallequals:

Work Pays America Prosperity
artist: Vera Bock. WPA
 
Vera Bock, who created this poster on American labor, was one of thousands of artists who participated in the Federal Art Project (FAP). Her work is found in many book illustrations and a wide variety of subject matter for the FAP. Part of the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the ambitious project started in 1935, and survived until 1943.
The artists of the FAP produced a wide variety of subject matter, labor, education, travel, the war effort, and reading and books are just several of the themes that appealed to artists who participated in the FAP.
George Biddle, the founder of the project, said that because of the Federal Art Project, the Depression exerted, “a more invigorating effect on American art than any past event in the country’s history.” While times were hard, the mood of the posters was typically upbeat and the designs were bold and original and many of the artists felt free to experiment with a wide range of concepts. For American art, it was a vital period that invigorated the entire country’s perception of what art could be and brought American art into the international forefront.
In addition to posters, the FAP created thousands of murals in public buildings all across the country. Artist such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Louise Nevelson, all left a moment of their creativity to posterity because of this program. As art historian Francis O’Connor said, “Something very vital indeed, something revolutionary happened to American culture during the 1930’s.”
One of the FAP’s major activities was the index of American Design. The project helped popularizing American folk art by documenting the countries “usable past” of over 20,000 photographic records of American art, painting, sculpture, handicraft and folk art. The project was dissolved in 1943.
The Library of Congress is the largest single holder of WPA posters, having over 900 in its collection.
Above
Medium : 1 print (poster) : silkscreen, color
Created/Published : Federal Art Project, New York, between 1936-1941
Creator : Vera Bock, artist
Part of the Work Projects Administration Poster Collection housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress

Federal Art Project
via smallequals

After that last post, I wanted to share more information on the federal art and information projects of the 1930s. The post below is good. To view posters, visit the LoC site.

smallequals:

Work Pays America Prosperity

artist: Vera Bock. WPA

Vera Bock, who created this poster on American labor, was one of thousands of artists who participated in the Federal Art Project (FAP). Her work is found in many book illustrations and a wide variety of subject matter for the FAP. Part of the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the ambitious project started in 1935, and survived until 1943.

The artists of the FAP produced a wide variety of subject matter, labor, education, travel, the war effort, and reading and books are just several of the themes that appealed to artists who participated in the FAP.

George Biddle, the founder of the project, said that because of the Federal Art Project, the Depression exerted, “a more invigorating effect on American art than any past event in the country’s history.” While times were hard, the mood of the posters was typically upbeat and the designs were bold and original and many of the artists felt free to experiment with a wide range of concepts. For American art, it was a vital period that invigorated the entire country’s perception of what art could be and brought American art into the international forefront.

In addition to posters, the FAP created thousands of murals in public buildings all across the country. Artist such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Louise Nevelson, all left a moment of their creativity to posterity because of this program. As art historian Francis O’Connor said, “Something very vital indeed, something revolutionary happened to American culture during the 1930’s.”

One of the FAP’s major activities was the index of American Design. The project helped popularizing American folk art by documenting the countries “usable past” of over 20,000 photographic records of American art, painting, sculpture, handicraft and folk art. The project was dissolved in 1943.

The Library of Congress is the largest single holder of WPA posters, having over 900 in its collection.

Above

Medium : 1 print (poster) : silkscreen, color

Created/Published : Federal Art Project, New York, between 1936-1941

Creator : Vera Bock, artist

Part of the Work Projects Administration Poster Collection housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress

(via smallequals-deactivated20121119)

Filed under labor poster propaganda prosperity vera bock work wpa federal art project new deal art deco graphic design 1930s history folk art library of congress works progress administration 1940s george biddle great depression public art american history